Case Study From Greenshaw Learning Trust

Josie Mingay is School Improvement Lead at
Greenshaw Learning Trust; a role she has held since
September 2017, having originally worked for the Trust
as Head of Literacy and Language. The Trust currently
has 15 primary, secondary and specialist schools
located in Sutton – its main HQ – as well as other parts
of Surrey, Berkshire and Gloucestershire. Josie is driving
the Trust’s innovative Tutor Time Reading Programme
across all secondary schools.

“The Tutor Time Reading Programme is, put simply, an
ambitious initiative for students in Years 7‐11 to read
for 20 minutes every day of the school year,” Josie
explained. “The programme sees tutors reading a text
aloud, with students tracking the reading using a ruler
or bookmark on their own copy. Given that our schools
range from 600‐1,500 pupils we needed a trusted book
supplier who could provide high‐quality texts with high
challenge. One of our Heads of English recommended
MBE Books, and this partnership has been key to a
successful roll‐out. The programme has already had
significant impact on 7,000 pupils; it is a huge
investment in time, energy and finances but one we are
incredibly passionate about.”

Formerly a Literacy Leader at Greenshaw High School,
as well as a primary school teacher, Josie said that the
Tutor Time Reading Programme had “really broken the
mould”. She continued: “This is something we
introduce to joining schools from their first INSET day
as part of the Greenshaw Learning Trust, and all early
signs suggest that it is successfully improving reading
across the board, particularly in our South‐West
schools but also in our South‐East and South‐Central
schools. It is benefitting students as a settling activity in
the mornings; improving cultural literacy; broadening
minds; encouraging empathy; improving Tier 2
vocabulary and cultivating a wonderful community of

We measure impact against our original intentions for
the programme; for students to improve their
standardised reading scores, for increased enjoyment
in reading together, and for continued exposure to and
understanding of unfamiliar vocabulary. We are
content with our decision not to measure every single
aspect of the initiative, and know that with the help of
MBE Books, pupils are being exposed to high‐quality,
rich texts on a daily basis.”

MBE Books has been supplying books to thousands of
schools for over 30 years and offers an unrivalled
service delivering all orders for stock titles the following
day. All books come supplied and fitted with free plastic
jackets, saving schools a lot of time and prolonging the
life of the books. The company was purchased by the
UK arm of Scholastic in 2018. “We have been really
pleased with the relationship with MBE Books; it has
been very effective,” Josie said. “The team have been
hugely reliable and consistent in their approach. The
free protective covers prevent wear and tear, meaning
we can use the books again and again without damage.
If the team has not had a title in stock, they commit to
sourcing and delivering it for you. We have bought
literally thousands of books from MBE Books over the
past couple of years. Buying in bulk as a multi‐academy
trust has been incredibly beneficial – the Tutor Time
Reading Programme is part of our identity; it is
something we do every day, so to make that happen,
we really need a committed partner.”

For now, Greenshaw Learning Trust will continue to run
the programme in secondary schools, though Josie
revealed that she is looking to introduce a similar
model at primary level in the near future. “We believe
that schools want clarity,” she said. “Success for a
reading programme of this scale relies on clarity of
expectation and implementation, so we make it our
business to ensure that teaching staff are not only clear
on our reasoning behind the approach, but are also
supported in using evidence‐informed strategies in the
classroom through rigorous training and carefully‐
implemented delivery. It is imperative that all senior
leaders across our family of schools not only engage
with the programme, but drive it from the top down;
that is where we see the greatest success.” 

Case study developed: July 2019